Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 497-505.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0378

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Revised algorithm of ecosystem water use efficiency for semi-arid steppe in the Loess Plateau of China

Xiao LIU1,2, Chao QI1,2, Yi-Lan YAN1,2, Guo-Fu YUAN1,2,*   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

    2 College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2017-06-22 Published:2017-05-10
  • Contact: Guo-Fu YUAN
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail: kangjingyao_nj@163.com

Abstract:

Aims We evaluated the applicability of different measures of water use efficiency through analyzing the coupled dynamics of GPP and evapotranspiration in the semi-arid steppe in the Loess Plateau of China. Our objective is to explore the applicability of two quantitative measures of ecosystem water use efficiency—inherent water use efficiency (IWUE) and underlying water use efficiency (uWUE) —for the semi-arid steppe and to endeavor necessary modifications.Methods The consistency and stability of three indices of water use efficiency formulations (i.e. WUE, IWUE, uWUE) were calculated and compared at hourly, daily and annual time scales before proposing an optimal water use efficiency (oWUE). These indices were additionally used to quantify their importances in modeling the diel change of gross primary production (GPP). The yielded-accuracy of the prediction was used for justifying their uses.Important findings IWUE and uWUE appeared suitable for examining the coupled water-carbon characteristics of vegetation at hourly and daily scales, whereas WUE was more plausible on the annual and interannual scales. The optimized water use efficiency index did not improve the prediction of the coupled water-carbon characteristics as compared with uWUE, but it improved the prediction of GPP and its dynamics. oWUE and uWUE improved the predictions of GPP in the peak growing period, while WUE predicted the GPP better at the early and late growing season. Interestingly, we found that IWUE was not suitable for predicting GPP and its dynamics. The results will be of great importance in modeling the effects of climate change on the carbon assimilation and water cycle for the future.

Key words: water use efficiency, inherent water use efficiency, underlying water use efficiency, optimal water use efficiency, predicted gross primary production

Table 1

Basic information for various algorithms of calculating water use efficiency at ecosystem level"

类型 Type 符号 Symbol 代号 Code 表达式 Formulation 单位 Unit
水分利用效率 Water use efficiency WUE WUE0 GPP/ET g ·kg-1
内在水分利用效率 Inherent water use efficiency IWUE WUE1.0 GPP × VPD /ET g hPa·kg-1
固有水分利用效率 Underlying water use efficiency uWUE WUE0.5 GPP × VPD0.5 /ET g hPa0.5·kg-1
优化水分利用效率 Optimal water use efficiency oWUE WUEk* GPP × VPDk* /ET g hPak*·kg-1

Table 2

Algorithms for calculating water use efficiency (WUE) at hourly, daily and yearly time scale"

时间尺度
Time scales
水分利用
效率 WUE
内在水分利
用效率 IWUE
固有水分利
用效率 uWUE
小时尺度
Hourly time scales
日尺度
Daily time scales
年尺度
Yearly time scales

Fig. 1

Relationship between GPP (A, D, G), GPP × VPD (B, E, H), GPP × VPD0.5 (C, F, I) and ET at hourly scale during the growing season of 2014-2016. ET, evapotranspiration; GPP, gross primary productivity; VPD, vapor pressure deficit."

Fig. 2

Relationship between GPP (A, D, G), GPP × VPD (B, E, H), GPP × VPD0.5 (C, F, I) and ET at daily scale during the growing season of 2014-2016. ET, evapotranspiration; GPP, gross primary productivity; VPD, vapor pressure deficit."

Table 3

Comparisons of the daily and yearly values of water use efficiency (WUE), inherent water use efficiency (IWUE), and underlying water use efficiency (uWUE) in 2014-2016"

年份
Year
水分利用效率 WUE 内在水分利用效率 IWUE 固有水分利用效率 uWUE
相关
系数
r
变异
系数
Cv
日平均值
Mean daily value
年值
Yearly value
相关
系数
r
变异
系数
Cv
日平均值
Mean daily value
年值
Yearly value
相关
系数
r
变异
系数
Cv
日平均值
Mean daily value
年值
Yearly value
2014 0.70 0.40 1.655 5 1.523 5 0.81 0.54 20.534 4 23.639 5 0.83 0.38 5.563 9 5.829 7
2015 0.55 0.33 1.134 4 1.075 7 0.81 0.42 16.993 5 18.173 0 0.83 0.30 4.274 9 4.327 4
2016 0.38 0.41 1.177 5 1.097 0 0.77 0.63 8.763 6 10.264 1 0.84 0.38 2.943 6 3.137 0

Table 4

k* values of optimal water use efficiency (oWUE) and its correlation coefficient (r) with oWUE and underlying water use efficiency (uWUE) at the hourly and daily scales during 2014-2016"

年份
Year
k*k* value r (k = k*) r (k = 0.5)
小时尺度
Hourly
日尺度
Daily
小时尺度
Hourly
日尺度
Daily
小时尺度
Hourly
日尺度
Daily
2014 0.42 0.40 0.76 0.85 0.75 0.83
2015 0.36 0.40 0.75 0.84 0.74 0.83
2016 0.38 0.37 0.82 0.85 0.80 0.84

Fig. 3

Comparisons between observed and predicted daily gross primary production (GPP) in 2015: A and E with water use efficiency, B and F with inherent water use efficiency, C and G with underlying water use efficiency, and D and H with optimal water use efficiency. NSE, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient."

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